Becoming educated about underride was not a direction I had planned on going with my life and time. But I have gained a great deal of knowledge related to the fact that AnnaLeah’s and Mary’s deaths (and Roya’s, too, along with countless other individual loved ones) might have been prevented had adequate underride protection been on the truck, into which our sturdy Crown Vic crashed — along with the fact that many more countless, unknown individuals will die unless this country takes decisive action.
This information, along with my unresolved grief due to the frustration of knowing that years have gone by without effective protection, fuels my efforts to work collaboratively to bring about widespread and significant change. It is now my aim to equip everyone with the same information — without the accompanying unwanted grief.
So, here is Part II of Truck Underride 101.
II. Why Comprehensive Underride Protection?
Why, you might ask, would we write a piece of legislation calling for a comprehensive underride protection rule? Why not have separate bills for side underride and rear underride and front underride and Single Unit Trucks (SUTs), et cetera?
I am convinced of the importance of this strategy and want to share some of my thoughts here.
RAM CUP: A DIFFERENT STRATEGY
TO ACHIEVE UNDERRIDE PROTECTION
For Such A Time As This
What can we discover from past attitudes or strategies to address underride deaths? Read more here: Why COMPREHENSIVE Underride Protection Legislation?
International Research and the Underride Roundtable: On May 5, 2016, over 65 representatives from the trucking industry, government, safety advocates, engineers, crash reconstructionists, attorneys, and media will be on hand at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Vehicle Research Center to discuss and demonstrate truck underride crashes.
In order to prepare for that, I am going to highlight some past and current underride research papers and efforts here. It will, of course, not cover everything and others are welcome to send additional information my way, which I would be more than happy to add to the list.
Although most of the research below will not appear as a presentation on the agenda, I am hopeful that the information will be considered by all as recommendations for underride protection are discussed and proposed.
I had actually wanted to put together a packet of this kind of information to hand out to participants. Then I thought that it might be more useful to provide it to a wider audience by posting it on our website. So here it is. . . Underride Roundtable To Consider Underride Research From Around the Globe
- Media Coverage of the first Truck Underride Roundtable held at IIHS on May 5, 2016You will find multiple links below reporting on the Underride Roundtable, which took place on May 5, 2016 at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville Center, co-hosted by them with the Truck Safety Coalition, and our family (AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety).Please note: If you are visiting this site for the first time, please be aware that the reason this Underride Roundtable was organized was because the CURRENT DOT/NHTSA underride standards are TOO WEAK. In way too many cases, even new trucks with underride guards meeting current rules (not just corroded ones) fail and allow underride by a passenger vehicle colliding with them. People die from these kinds of crashes and it has been proven that stronger guards (if required and manufactured) could stop this deadly underride!I know about this because my two youngest daughters, AnnaLeah (17) and Mary (13), died because of this kind of crash on May 4, 2013. I was driving. A truck hit us–spinning us around so that we went backwards into the tractor-trailer ahead of us. AnnaLeah and Mary were in the back seat which went under the truck. They died. I did not. . .
Knights of the Roundtable:
- Avoid an impasse: Follow-up Underride Roundtable with Negotiated Rulemaking Meeting , May 21, 2016 It is my hope that we can pursue a recommendation, made by a participant of the Underride Roundtable during the afternoon panel discussion, and organize a group of affected individuals and organizations/companies to meet together and develop a proposal to take to NHTSA in order to bring about a comprehensive negotiated rulemaking.
- Knights of the Underride Roundtable: Finding Some Common Ground to Protect Travelers
Rear Guard Consensus Specifications submitted to NHTSA: Underride Roundtable Led to Recommendations Submitted as a Consensus Public Comment to NHTSA, August 9, 2016
Comprehensive Underride Consensus Petition Letter to Secretary Foxx:
In fact, the development of a COMPREHENSIVE approach to taking care of the truck underride problem was probably first planted in my mind at the Underride Roundtable on May 5, 2016, with the suggestion of a member of the trucking industry.
Read about that here, including the subsequent actions that resulted in a Comprehensive Underride Consensus Petition which a group of us submitted to Secretary Foxx at DOT on September 23, 2016, and upon which the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017 is based.
- Underride Roundtable Phase 2: Crafting Recommendations to Present to NHTSA For Final Rule, May 23, 2016
- Knights of the Underride Roundtable: Finding Some Common Ground to Protect Travelers!, June 27, 2016
- Underride Roundtable led to Consensus Underride Recommendations for Submission to NHTSA, July 27, 2016
- Underride Roundtable Led to Recommendations Submitted as a Consensus Public Comment to NHTSA, August 9, 2016
- Underride Rulemaking: Will we get it right this time?!, February 9, 2016
- Comprehensive Underride Consensus Petition Letter to DOT 20160923_1212, September 23, 2016
- Clarification of the Requests in the Comprehensive Underride Consensus Petition
- The RAMCUP/Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017 was based upon the months and years of research and collaboration preceding its development:
- 2 Moms Collaborate With Innovative & Insightful Truck Industry Leaders
- 2 Moms Share Their Safer Truck Message in Hallways & Hearings on The Hill
- 2 Moms, Sick & Tired of Waiting, Draft Truck Underride Legislation
- One thing missing from the current draft is a requirement for retrofit of effective comprehensive underride protection (both rear and side) on the millions of large trucks already on the road — especially because of the availability of retrofit solutions– to prevent rear underride crashes on existing trailers and thereby save lives. There are about 2 million trailers on the road with weak & ineffective rear underride guards. Trailers could have a lifespan of 15 years.
- We want a retrofit requirement included in the mandate.